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I give a tremendous amount of time, effort and resources to developing young professionals in my business. I answer every inquiry email, whether I’m hiring or not; I take students to coffee and learn about their stories; I offer to be their mentor; and I help them find connections in our industry that could lead to their next internship or job, if I can’t hire them myself. It’s something that’s been deeply personal to me since I was a student myself. I remember emailing every agency in town — and dozens around the country — trying to get their attention, an interview, even just a response. …


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The fact that you’re jealous amuses me.
As if there could ever be anyone else.
As if I had any choice in the matter.
As if loving you was optional.


and 10 ways to burst your filter bubbles

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I’m beginning to think I’m the lobster in the pot on the stove, soaking in the comfortable warm water, appreciating the accommodation and comfort I’ve been given, not realizing that the water is getting hotter and that the things that comfort me might actually be killing me.

Facebook tells advertisers that I am a white, liberal man with a beard who likes basketball, cycling and has a reasonable amount of disposable income. Facebook, of course, knows those things because I’ve told Facebook those things. And in turn, Facebook tells advertisers, who complete the circuit by showing me ads for beard oil and ball-safe shavers (yep, that’s a thing), liberal podcasts, NBA scores and highlights, local bike rides in my community, and quirky impulse buys like front-pocket wallets and vinyl records from artists I might like. It’s great! Facebook gets me. They know I don’t talk to my father, so they don’t show me pictures he’s tagged in. They know I’m with my wife most of the time, so they don’t show me her posts since I already know what they’re about. …


An extended bio, a half-apology for my youth and a full embrace of success on your own terms.

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When my mother had cervical cancer in 1989, it was clear I would remain an only child. She survived, my parents divorced, and my mom set her eyes on continuing her education and advancing her career. She went to night school to finish her Bachelor’s and obtain her Master’s, and she hoped that by encouraging my creativity she might solve the problem of child care by enabling me to entertain myself. I wrote poems and songs, took drum lessons and practiced endlessly, read books aloud to myself and played them back on cassettes, and was, briefly but famously (among my friends and family at least), the host of The Erick Show, southeast Oklahoma City’s most infamous late night talk show that no one ever saw. …


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Funny story: Two years ago, I walked into my office after a long vacation, sat down and prepared for my weekly meeting with my team, and was promptly fired.

I thought it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. It was traumatic, emotional and reinforced my worst fears and insecurities about myself. It impacted the way I treated myself and others for months to come. I questioned my value, I even questioned when things were good (when things are a little too calm, there must be something about to blow, right?). I dealt with Imposter Syndrome, anxiety and trust. I worried I would be viewed as a failure, that I would never work in the business again. …


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The eyes, peering through the cells, will haunt me for a bit. Staring at us like we were animals, I realized shortly into our visit that they were the animals, not us. I felt an eerie discomfort in visiting someplace akin to stables and realizing that there were humans, not horses, gazing back at me. One pair of eyes reminded me of a relative, a good man who’s battled with mental illness for 20 years and struggles to function in everyday life. Another pair of eyes reminded me of a close friend, a whip-smart twenty-something whose anger and drug dependency have led to him drifting through life, staying at one place or another, using a new cell phone each week, out of touch with his children and family. A third pair of eyes reminded me of, well, me. Like me, he probably came from a broken home, perhaps has an abusive father, went to a crumbling public school, and didn’t see a clear path for career development and independence in his future. Who knows? Maybe we were from the same neighborhood, in the same classes at school, maybe even went to the same church as kids. …


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I know the norm is to ask you to bow your head in reverence to whomever or whatever you pray to or believe in, and you are certainly welcome to do that if you prefer, but I’d actually like you to open your eyes instead.

Be in this moment with me.

We are surrounded by people with enormous talent, kindness, empathy and impact, and we have come to attain these things by some combination of natural ability, hard work, positive influences, a reasonably good education and even some luck. …

About

Erick Worrell

Award-winning copywriter. Award-winning account director. Record-setting business developer. Generally nice human. Madly in love since 2005.

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